The great, good, weird and wonderful music of our Canadian cousins keeps popping up in the RGM lunchbox, erm, I mean inbox, so we are pleased to present our latest roundup of the artists from across the water that you ought to include in your daily diet.
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald:
First up is Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, hailing from Calgary, with ‘I’ll Be The Lighter’. This track is a calling card any songwriter would be proud of and bodes well for the full album (MBF’s third) which is due for release in September. The song’s intro, with over-compressed drums and saturated keys, is like some sort of euphoric house mashup of ‘Close To Me’ by The Cure but a blistering, blissful pop anthem soon peels away from it in a blur of energy, like a late-teen Springsteen on a hoverboard. Did someone say soundtrack to the summer?
The Foreign Films:
The Most Prolific Musician in Canada Award must surely go to Hamilton-based Bill Majoros, - AKA The Foreign Films - whose triple vinyl concept album (yep, you read that right) The Record Collector is soon to be followed by a double album (ditto), The Record Collector Side 2. You are invited to either ‘skim the surface or dive for pearls’ in the Record Collector’s 28 songs. So far, I’ve only managed the former but I can report that there is much there to please all fans of summery guitar pop with a strong thread back to a sixties surf sound, think The Wondermints at their haziest. You can try the whole thing at Bandcamp before you decide to splash out on the wax of course.
Toronto’s Bad Western released their self-titled debut EP on 13th July and its lead single ‘Sainte Something’ really caught our attention. It’s a soothing, laid-back travelling song that sits somewhere between Owl City and The Flaming Lips. Extolling the virtues of ‘enjoying the ride’ the song is medicine for the uptight among us. It’s also topped off with a quirky, rockabilly outro. And why not?
The Hope State:
Also from Toronto, The Hope State take a more candid (“I’m a wreck, I am a mess/I will never forgive myself”) but no less philosophical look at life and new beginnings with their super-infectious single ‘Just Survive’ which is energetic and melodic and promises much for their upcoming debut LP Skeletons. The band is fronted by Saskatchewan-born Taylor Johnson who, at the age of 18 moved to L.A. to become a professional songwriter for other artists. If that sounds like the dream life then you may be surprised to find that the record which sees Johnson returning to Canada and starting afresh is billed as “an introspective and intensely honest look at depression, addiction, love and loss”… I for one am looking forward to hearing more of the stories he has to tell.
Delta Will cement Toronto’s hat trick in this particular roundup by delivering ‘Nothing Is Enough’, the first single from their Multitudes I EP, released on 27th July. There is a distinct Morrissey/Marr homage apparent in the track but we won’t hold that against them as ‘Nothing Is Enough’ is just so catchy and full of bounce. The song’s retro sound is tempered by the modern subject matter which deals with the misery of striving to measure up to Facebook fantasies: “Quit looking at the Joneses/Admit You’re not the same”. And it’s less than three minutes long. And it has a very cool video. Did someone say let’s move to Canada?
The Maple Leaf Roundup #2 compiled by Rich Barnard.
Canadian artists who'd like to be considered for future editions of The Maple Leaf Roundup please get in touch as we'd love to hear from you.